[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                               December 12, 2008
Safety

Installation plan supports reductions 
in off-duty accidents

By Rob Schuette, The Real McCoy Staff

Fort McCoy’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2009 Safety Action Plan will include input to help reduce the number of accidents that occur off duty.

Randy Eddy, Fort McCoy Installation Safety Office (ISO) safety manager, said Army senior leaders and the Installation Management Command (IMCOM) were encouraged with the progress made to reduce on-duty and workplace accidents in FY 2008.

"The Fort McCoy garrison has been able to stay below the IMCOM average for the past two years (in total Lost Day Rate — the ability to return employees back to work)," Eddy said. "It is imperative that we maintain emphasis on reducing these losses in order to continue our improvement and keep our garrison under that average."

Other programs the ISO offers to help installation organizations improve safety are hazard assessments, risk mitigation, supervisory safety training and accident/incident reporting.

The ISO works with other organizations, whenever possible, to foster safety, Eddy said. Deb Heise-Clark, ISO safety specialist, said these initiatives include quarterly installationwide safety meetings.

"If you’re not attending, you can contact us for more information," Heise-Clark said, with the next meeting scheduled Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2009 from 9-10:30 a.m. "Every organization is encouraged to send representatives to the meetings. You can express your concerns there. Sometimes, we can resolve the safety concerns right there and then."

The Safety Council meeting is a good place for installation personal to gather and share their best safety practices, Eddy said. IMCOM always is seeking the best safety practices to spread throughout the organization to help reduce accidents, Eddy said.

ISO also works with the Occupational Health Office, the Civilian Personnel Advisory Center and the Fort McCoy Fire Department to conduct quarterly safety and workers compensation training to all newly assigned supervisors.

However, the same positive trends aren’t evident in Armywide off-duty safety statistics, Eddy said. Driving fatalities — the leading cause of accidental deaths off duty — accounted for 62 percent of the accidental fatalities, an increase of 17 percent. Approximately 75 percent of accidental fatalities occurred off duty, according to statistics from the Army Chief of Staff office.

Fort McCoy addresses this issue through motor vehicle safety campaigns, which include POV safety checks and training; and a motorcycle safety foundation training program, which provided training for 342 personnel in FY 2008. Eddy said the ISO also seeks to develop a safety culture through the Army Readiness Assessment Program that will carry over into off-duty activities through such programs as risk management, quality assurance, and process auditing. The key is for leaders and supervisors to make safety a priority and effectively disseminate up-to-date information, Eddy and Heise-Clark said.

"Since most off-duty accidents occur away from normal supervision it is important to get families and friends involved in the safety culture," Eddy said. "We stand ready to support the Army and IMCOM objectives to include the focus on off-duty activities."

Aubrey Posey, an ISO safety specialist, said risk management is important off duty, as well as on duty. The ISO has a lot of literature about safety activities.

Anyone in the Fort McCoy community is welcome to call the ISO at (608) 388-3403. The ISO also offers a Web site with seasonal and general safety information/tips at the Fort McCoy Extranet, which is accessible through the Fort McCoy public Web site at http://www.mccoy.army.mil.

Other good Web sites with safety information include The Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center at https://crc.army.mil. The site includes the TRiPS Web site, with the link of 
https://crc.army.mil/Tools/detail.asp?iData=66&iCat=452&iChannel=17&nChannel=Tools.

Both military and civilian personnel with Army Knowledge Online accounts can use these sites to help determine risks while traveling on temporary or Permanent Change of Station duty orders, on leave, or over major holidays, such as Christmas and New Year’s, Heise-Clark said. The site is available 24 hours a day.

 

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